Open Letter to Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray Seeks Implementation of Act 21 for Speedy Decisions
Former central information commission Shailesh Gandhi has asked Maharashtra’s new chief minister Uddhav Thackeray to implement Act 21 of 2006 for speeding up the decision making process in the government offices. The letter also demands filling up vacancies, making institutions like Lokayukta strong, stepped up efforts for conserving water and increase transparency in the government. 
 
Here is the letter sent by Mr Gandhi to CM Thackeray…
 
29 November 2019
Shri Uddhav Thackeray
Chief Minister of Maharashtra,
 
Dear Sir,
 
            Congratulations on becoming the Chief Minister of our State.
You have said that you have serious intentions of governing Maharashtra for over a decade and I am sending you a few suggestions which would radically improve the governance of our State and reduce corruption.  
 
1. Implementing Act 21 of 2006: This law requires that most decisions should be taken in three levels and this should be done within 45 days. If this is violated it mandates disciplinary action against the responsible public servants. This restores respect to the individual citizen and would go a long way in reducing corruption. Most applications, complaints and representations of citizens have to be decided within 45 days. (Note below).
 
2. Ensuring filling all vacancies in government: The average vacancies in sanctioned positions is probably in the region of 25 to 30%. This is also a significant reason for inefficient and corrupt governance.
 
3. Making Institutions strong: Lokayukta; Human Rights, Women’s, Children’s, Information Commissions, Police Complaints Authorities and many more such institutions are our checks and balances of democracy. These are selected with no criterion, and usually as a favour or reward.
 
It must be ensured that proper criterion are laid down for the job requirements and a transparent process adopted for their selection. (Note below) 
 
4. Stopping Burking: The law requires police to file a FIR when a cognizable crime is reported. There are many Supreme Court judgments on this. But police do not file FIRs, which results in crime being encouraged and corruption in the police. The extent of burking is not known but is likely to be of an order of 500% or more. (Note attached).
 
5. Conserving water and raising the Water table: This is being done by some outstanding efforts of NGOs. If government replicates their ways and techniques it would be big gain.
 
6. Increasing level of Transparency in Government;
 
i) Appointing six information Commissioners to overcome the huge pendency.
 
ii) Displaying all RTI applications and responses on the website, (Note attached)
 
iii) Displaying most information on websites (https://jansoochna.rajasthan.gov.in/  a beginning has been made, we can do much better).
 
I am sure you will be getting many requests. The above suggestions are for strengthening the Maharashtra administration, and could lead to great faith in the government. 
 
Needless to say I would be honoured to explain these in detail, if you desire. Most of these are only seeking implementation of laws. Earlier governments have flouted laws. I am sure you will strike a new path.
 
I am hoping this Open Letter will be shown to you and you will consider responding to it.
 
Yours faithfully
Shailesh Gandhi
Former Central Information Commissioner
 
Note on Act 21 of 2006: Government Servants Regulation of Transfers and Prevention of Delay in Discharge of Official Duties
 
 
Note on Selection Evaluation of Information Commissioners
 
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    COMMENTS

    Harish

    2 weeks ago

    A Very Good Initiative by Shri Shailesh Gandhi.

    K C Gangadhar

    2 weeks ago

    Timely appeal by the ever active Shailesh Gandhi. Hope Moneylife can periodically track actions initiated by the Govt on these highlighted steps.

    Nakul Kumar Reddy

    2 weeks ago

    Already Decession taken, waiting for Ur signal only

    Maharashtra: CM Uddhav Thackeray No Longer Has a Remote Control
    Ending the month long drama and suspense, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday was sworn in as new chief minister of Maharashtra in a grand function held at the Shivaji Park in Mumbai. Uddhav, son of Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb, is first from the famous Thackeray clan to leave 'remote control' behind and become a chief minister. Mr Thackeray was unanimously chosen as leader of the three party Maharashtra Vikas Aaghadi, consisting Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress. 
     
    Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari administered the oath of office and secrecy to Mr Thackeray in the presence of prominent leaders, members of legislative assembly (MLAs) and activists from all the three parties.  
     
    Along with chief minister Thackeray, two leaders from each party, including Chhagan Bhujbal and Jayant Patil from NCP, Balasaheb Thorat and Nitin Raut from Congress and Subhash Desai and Eknath Shinde were also administered the oath as ministers in the new MahaVikas Aaghadi government. 
     
    In an unusual gesture, soon after completing the formalities, Mr Thackeray stepped to the front of the stage and knelt down, touched his hands and head on the floor to express his gratitude to the people of Maharashtra for the honour bestowed on him.
     
    NCP chief Sharad Pawar, MP Supriya Sule, Maharashtra’s former CM Devendra Fadnavis, Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath, MK Stalin, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray were also present at Shivaji Park for the swearing-in ceremony. 
     
    Industrialist Mukesh Ambani, along with wife Nita and son Anant were also present during the swearing-in function.
     
    This is the second time a Shiv Sena government was sworn-in at Shivaji Park - the first one being in 1995, when it led the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance government, and this time it is a Shiv Sena-led MVA government set to take office.
     
    Uddhav Thackeray is the first member of the state's prominent political family and the third Shiv Sena CM after Manohar Joshi (1995-1998) and Narayan Rane (1999).
     
    Since Wednesday, Shivaji Park itself was given a mega-facelift with touch-ups to the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji, the Balasaheb Thackeray memorial, a bust of Uddhav Thackeray's mother, Meenatai Thackeray, sweeping of the ground and disposing off any wastes in and outside the 28-acre ground, erection of flood-lights, and laying of a massive red carpet where the guests would be seated.
     
    Earlier in the day, the MahaVikasAaghadi declard its 'secular, all-inclusive' common minimum programme (CMP). 
     
    The preamble of the three parties' common minimum programme states: "The alliance partners commit to uphold the secular values enshrined in the Constitution. On contentious issues of national importance as well of state importance especially having repercussions/ consequences on the secular fabric of the nation, the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress will take a joint view after holding consultations and arriving at a consensus".
     
    The CMP focuses on hugely on the burning issues of the farmers, unemployment problems, urban roads and housing, girls and women's issues, besides problems plaguing the industry, health sector, social justice and other fields for the overall benefit of the state and its people.
     
    The CMP was announced at a joint press conference by Shiv Sena' Eknath Shinde, NCP's Jayant Patil, NCP national spokesperson Nawab Malik and Congress' Balasaheb Thorat.
     
    Spelling cheers for Mumbaikars, the MVA government said it will provide homes of 500 square feet free of cost to slumdwellers instead of 300 square feet in Mumbai as well as across Maharashtra, under the Slum Rehabilitation Programme, with best infrastructure and basic facilities.
     
    The CMP also promises wholesome meals for only Rs10 for common citizens.
     
    To ensure proper implementation of the CMP, there will be two committees - one within the state cabinet and another among the three alliance partners, for better coordination, they said.
     
    Among the CMP's highlights are: immediate loan waiver to farmers, prompt assistance to farmers suffering due to unseasonal rains and floods, revising the crop insurance scheme to ensure immediate compensation to farmers who have suffered crop losses, ensuring remunerative prices for farm produce and sustainable water supply schemes for the drought-hit regions.
     
    To address the problems of unemployment, the MVA regime will take immediate measures to fill up all vacant posts in the government, enact a law to provide 80 per cent jobs to locals, and provide fellowships to educated unemployed youth.
     
    For women, girls from economically weaker sections will be given free education, working women's hostels will be built in cities and district headquarters, increased honorarium and better service conditions for anganwadi sevikas/asha workers, strengthening women's Self Help Groups to empower them, while highest priority will be accorded to safety of women by the government.
     
    The government will take all measures to improve the standards of education, children of farmers and economically weaker sections will be given zero interest loans, the three leaders said.
     
    For urban roads development, the new MVA government will bring a scheme designed on the Chief Minister Gram Sadak Yojana with separate financial provisions for Nagar Panchayats, Municipal Councils and Municipal Corporations.
     
    To ensure good health for all, the government will launch Re 1 clinics at taluka levels to conduct all pathological tests, super-speciality hospitals and medical colleges will be set in each district in a phased manner, and health insurance cover provided to all citizens of Maharashtra.
     
    For ensuring social justice, the government will take measures on pending questions of the scheduled casts (SCs), scheduled tribes (STs), Dhangars, other backward classes (OBCs), and balutedars so that they are not deprived of basics rights like food, shelter, clothing, education, health, employment, besides schemes to eliminate social, educational and economic backwardness of the minority community, as per the Constitution.
     
    The government will take special steps to develop tourism in the state, increase facilities for senior citizens, and deal sternly with food and drugs adulteration.
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    COMMENTS

    Aditya G

    2 weeks ago

    At least this circus has ended. Now, waiting for the next circus. Someone, please pass me the popcorn.

    Sandeep More

    2 weeks ago

    With a huge State deficit, I wonder which ones of the CMP would be relegated to the background

    RAEES RAJPOOT

    2 weeks ago

    YET LET US HOPE FOR THE BEST.

    MR.CM IS GENETICALLY STRONG BUT PRACTICALLY JUST NOWHERE.

    Mohamed Meghani

    2 weeks ago

    The intention is good let us hope and pray for good efficient and effective implementation

    Ashok Maheshwari

    2 weeks ago

    Well, it's nothing short of Miracle. Promises and assurances if sincerely implemented, then the Finance capital of India need to be upgraded too.

    51% Indians Admit Paying a Bribe in Past 12 Months: Survey
    Over the past several decades, corruption has been apart and parcel of daily life in India. While the introduction of systems in public services has largely reduced corruption in centralised services like securing a passport or buying a railway ticket, most citizen services at the state and local levels are still ridden with bribery and kickbacks.
     
    No wonder, as many as 51% of Indians admitted paying a bribe in past 12 months. The survey shows that top three corruption prone departments are property registration and land issues, police and municipal corporation. 
     
     
    According to a survey jointly conducted by LocalCircles and Transparency International (India), 24% citizens admitted to giving bribes several times in the last 12 months and 27% admitted to paying bribes once or twice. About 16% said they always managed to get work done without paying a bribe while 33% said they did not have a need.
     
     
    This survey called ‘India Corruption Survey 2019’ received 190,000 responses from people located in 248 districts of India has brought out citizen pulse at the national level at for 20 states. According to the Prevention of Corruption Act 2018, giving a bribe is an offence with up to seven years of imprisonment or fine or both.
     
    India’s ranking in the Corruption Perception Index 2018 released by Transparency International, had improved three places compared to last year and now stands at 78th position out of 180 countries.
     
     
    As per the survey, cash is still the primary mode used to pay bribes with 35% saying they paid cash as bribes in the last 12 months to get their work done.
     
    "About 44% citizens said that they paid a bribe in an office that had computerisation while 16% said that they paid a bribe despite the office having a functional close circuit television (CCTV) system in place. This is very concerning as it indicates that despite the introduction of systems, bribery is continuing," says LocalCircles and Transparency International, in a release.
     
    The survey revealed that 38% citizens had to pay a bribe as it was the only way to get work done while 48% said their state government or local administration did not take any steps to reduce corruption in the last 12 months.
     
     
    Property registration and land issues turned out to be the largest authority where citizens had to pay a bribe, with 26% citizens voting for it, the survey reveals, adding only 12% citizens said bribery in property registration and land issues has reduced in the last 12 months. Around 49% said bribery is continuing like before and 8% said it has increased, while 9% said they did not need to pay a bribe.
     
    When it came to demanding of bribes for work related to the municipality or local bodies, 10% citizens said it has reduced while 44% said it is continuing like before.
    About 11% said bribery to police has reduced while 11% said it has increased. 
     
     
    Delhi, Haryana, Gujarat, West Bengal, Kerala, Goa and Odisha turned out to be the states where citizens reported low instances of corruption, while Rajasthan, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand and Punjab were the states where citizens reported higher instances of corruption.
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    COMMENTS

    MOHAN BHASKAR WAGH

    2 weeks ago

    POLITICIANS WHO ARE RULING ARE ENCOURAGING CORRUPTION. AND MAKE BIGGEST MONEY

    shadi katyal

    2 weeks ago

    Bribery is in our blood and thus it is not going to be easy to clean the system. Modi promised to clean up but even he is a victim of his own talk of transparency ads no accounts of cleaning Ganges has been given thus far.
    Bribery has been a part of our nation for centuries and whether one presented some high value gift to rulers or sent some wheat etc to Patwari but with time Money is all it counts. Modi is part of such game as he has favored Adani and Ambani . Tje plight of roadside sellers and some traffic issues are in police hand and thus they get their part and thus shows highest in the data

    REPLY

    Meenal Mamdani

    In Reply to shadi katyal 2 weeks ago

    Please, I am not a Modi fan but to blame what has been happening on Modi or Cong or any other political party is to miss the forest for the trees.
    Do you think that the WASPs who set up the institutions in USA were not averse to bribes? Of course not. But fortunately, the people at the top realized that they had more to gain from the tsunami of trades once the people had realized that no one was gaming the system.
    If only the people in India realized this!!
    Honest trading will generate far more income for everyone if only we in India give it a chance.

    shadi katyal

    In Reply to Meenal Mamdani 2 weeks ago

    I fail to understand that h0ow instead of facing the present situtagtion why we keep changing the subject and try to compare ourselves with USA or anyother countries. It seems our culturalm attitude to change the subject is precious part of our lives.
    Are you aware that Indian busineszsman is not considered honest and there aremore cases of arbitration and thus having problem to get MAKE IN INDIA.
    It may sound ugly and hurtful but truth is bitter and one must face that we have this in our DNA

    Meenal Mamdani

    In Reply to shadi katyal 2 weeks ago

    I have not changed the subject. The subject still is dishonesty. The difference is I have pointed out how strengthening institutions helps to curb dishonesty.
    People become more honest when they see the wrong doers are punished and they are afraid the same may happen to them.
    Indians in USA are no more or no less dishonest than others. The difference is that they are caught and punished and therefore overall, USA has less dishonest businessmen of all ethnicity.
    We in India can improve our justice system, punish the wrongdoers quickly to hold them up as an example to others and slowly inculcate the habit of honesty in Indian society.

    shadi katyal

    In Reply to Meenal Mamdani 1 week ago

    I am sorry to disagree with you as you did change the subject and now even accusing Indians in USA being dishonest by comparing to what?
    The dishonesty and corruption is part of our DNA but every political leader promised to do better. Do you think giving Rafael contract to Ambani is not corruption,
    Have you seen anyone punished being dishonest in India or is most of enquirers are against opposition as Judiciary in our nation is also corrupt,
    When if ever will it change when it has no integrity but sold out to party which rules. As for our ethics we have long way to learn what it is.Sorry for my negativity but we must face the Truth another enigma

    MOHAN BHASKAR WAGH

    2 weeks ago

    DURING MODI PERIODS CORRUPTION HAS INCREASED. ONE HUNDRED TIMES

    Meenal Mamdani

    2 weeks ago

    I suppose these bribes were for legitimate work as those who wanted something illegal would never report it.
    I am sure that at least some of you are aware of the website ipaidabribe,com There are constant updates on this website by people describing the incident, name of the person who took the bribe and the purpose of the bribe.
    All govt depts that want to reduce corruption should visit the website regularly to see if they have figured in the reports. They should take disciplinary action and report it to the website.
    The new Maharashtra govt should do this and get kudos for being the first to do it.

    Ritesh SARAF

    2 weeks ago

    Property registration related bribes have almost high ratio even in Gujarat. This has even increased with extension of Disturbed Area Act. Thus, if you are selling your property under this act, you have to take care right from Police, Talati, Mamlatdar and etc etc. Based on recent experience of one known acquaintance. He/She was of the opinion that knowingly he/she would never sale it to someone from another caste where this law will trigger.

    Sandeep More

    2 weeks ago

    The consequence of not paying a bribe is too heavy - Consider this - Our Housing Society, Mittal Emerald CHSL at Gundge Village at Karjat, Raigad at Maharashtra decided not to pay any bribes to secure a regular Municipal water connection . 41 months passed since OC recd, the municipal water connection is nowhere in sight. We've even complained at the website of MyGov. No use at all. We only received a msg to the effect that the matter has been resolved. However, the actual situation is just the opposite. So, the conclusion is one has to pay bribes in order to have even basic facilities like water or else keep on suffering like our Society

    nadeem

    2 weeks ago

    Does the survey include buying MLA and MP ? Or ... is that not included in corruption..???!!!

    Nagaraju Bommanahalli

    2 weeks ago

    Corruption is increasing 500%during Modi period

    Ranbir Lamba

    2 weeks ago

    Survey is wrong

    Name a department which is a Corruption free

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